carnival barkers

Just regular guys. Just hangin’ with the boys who have a little time on their hands on the weekend idling in Homs. Some have great senses of humor. You can sense the fiber of Mark Twain there mixed with O’Henry weaving the narrative in new and exotic contexts.The romanticizing of the Free Syrian Army is a crock. Not that the opposition has a greater “purity of arms.”

and a good time is to be had by all. One price admission for the entire family. Look for the Drive-In and Drive-Thru service shortly:These dramatic pictures show a group of Syrian rebels using a makeshift catapult to attack government forces.
The primitive weapon appears to have been constructed using a metal road sign and elasticated cord.
Two men at a time operate the catapult on the deserted streets of Aleppo, one holding the frame while the other stretches the cord before releasing the homemade explosive.
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( see link at end)…Cash from Gulf benefactors who favour religious fighters has given the Salafists a high profile. Some fighters exaggerate their religiosity. “We grow beards and act more religious to get money,” admits a fighter with al-Farouq, an Islamist group. “But many of us drink beer.” Although the opposition in general has failed to present a clear vision of Syria after the Assad regime has fallen, Salafism, with its glorification of death in the cause of jihad, has provided its fighters with an identity.Read More:—so-far

…These are the Dinky-Doos, the touring concert party in J.B. Priestley’s The Good Companions; Salafist kooks, Free spirits, working men, Academics, all singing arm in arm like Priestley’s touring concert party; they are a bit stranded and they need money to continue with the good deeds and entertainment as in the book where the manager has beaten a path with the receipts and the lady pianist. Here, the poor rebels are reduced to fighting the Syrian regime with sling-shots and home made catapults, but wait, those salt-of-the-earth Quataris and amiable princes are endearing themselves with homespun advice, props and baggage, full of a little moolah  to keep the show on the road…

(se link at end)…Among the opposition, videos have emerged of women holding guns, claiming to be fighting with the FSA, but activists say these videos are merely a show of a support.

“Videos of women battalions or women fighters are sometimes meant to embarrass men who are sitting on their bums and not participating in the struggle,” Omar, an activist in Homs, says….

—Glenn Greenwald sounding like a smoother, less whining and cranky Ron Paul:When it comes to justifying the killing of civilians, the only difference between the Joe Kleins of the world and Osama bin Laden is that they’re on different sides. To the extent one wanted to distinguish them, one could say that the violence and aggression brought by the US to the Muslim world vastly exceeds – vastly – the violence and aggression brought by the Muslim world to the US. That’s just a fact.
(2) Leaving aside the sociopathic, morally grotesque defense of killing 4-year-olds with a “joystick from California”, Klein’s claims are completely false on pragmatic grounds. Slaughtering Muslim children does not protect American children from terrorism. The opposite is true. That is precisely what causes the anti-American hatred that fuels and sustains terrorism aimed at Americans in the first place, as even a study commissioned by the Rumsfeld-era Pentagon recognized almost a decade ago.
The reason American 4-year-olds are in danger from terrorism – to the very limited extent they are – is precisely because those empowered in US government and media circles think like Joe Klein does. —Read More: image:

But al-Meeki’s case is different.

“She slept in the military camp and wore her military uniform everyday. The fighters respected her and obeyed her orders,” Abo Adnan, a Syrian filmmaker who travelled to the south of Damascus to film clashes between government forces and the FSA, says.

220;This was very unusual to see,” he laughs. “I came to the town thinking the Jond Allah battalion is some al-Qaeda inspired group of fighters.

“But they were not. They treated al-Meeki like an older sister. They are normal people. They laugh and joke. Some pray, some don’t. Some smoke, some don’t. Some even drink.”

Abo Adnan’s upcoming film “The Southern Heartlines” will feature footage of al-Meeki training the fighters….

—As a tall, strangely familiar figure leaves his one-room shack in a notorious African slum this week, a few people jokingly call out to him: ‘Mister President! Mister President!’
Heading for breakfast through his junk-strewn yard, stepping over streams of sewage, the appearance of this slim, angular man prompts giggles and pointing from children in rags playing in the muck.
The man’s name is George Hussein Obama and his half-brother is Barack Hussein Obama, Kenya’s most famous son, the first black President of the U.S. and the most powerful man in the world.
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Raghda, a 25- year-old activist in the southern city of Deraa, says she cannot wait for her family and for the rest of Syria to see the film.Read More:


Who knew that ole’ Barack Obamster was into American top 20 lists? Like Casey Casem or in the style of Dick Clark, the charts rule:

(see link at end)…Obama administration officials at times have sought to trigger debate over how long the nation might employ the kill lists. But officials said the discussions became dead ends.

In one instance, Mullen, the former Joint Chiefs chairman, returned from Pakistan and recounted a heated confrontation with his counterpart, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani….

—Global Post has published an important overview of Israel’s role as major arms exporter fueling the Armenian-Azeri conflict. Recently Azerbaijan announced a $1.6-billion arms deal with Israel that would bring its drone fleet to 100 including Israel’s most advanced Heron model. Here’s an inventory of arms sales to one of the region’s wealthiest, most corrupt and autocratic leaders:
Azerbaijan had acquired about 30 drones from Israeli firms Aeronautics Ltd. and Elbit Systems by the end of 2011, including at least 25 medium-sized Hermes-450 and Aerostar drones.
In October 2011, Azerbaijan signed a deal to license and domestically produce an additional 60 Aerostar and Orbiter 2M drones. Its most recent purchase from Israel Aeronautics Industries (IAI) in March reportedly included 10 high altitude Heron-TP drones — the most advanced Israeli drone in service — according to Oxford Analytica—Read More:

…Mullen told White House and counterterrorism officials that the Pakistani military chief had demanded an answer to a seemingly reasonable question: After hundreds of drone strikes, how could the United States possibly still be working its way through a “top 20” list?

The issue resurfaced after the U.S. raid that killed bin Laden. Seeking to repair a rift with Pakistan, Panetta, the CIA director, told Kayani and others that the United States had only a handful of targets left and would be able to wind down the drone campaign.

A senior aide to Panetta disputed this account, and said Panetta mentioned the shrinking target list during his trip to Islamabad but didn’t raise the prospect that drone strikes would end. Two former U.S. officials said the White House told Panetta to avoid even hinting at commitments the United States was not prepared to keep.

“We didn’t want to get into the business of limitless lists,” said a former senior U.S. counterterrorism official who spent years overseeing the lists. “There is this apparatus created to deal with counterterrorism. It’s still useful. The question is: When will it stop being useful? I don’t know.” Read More:

—The Holy man is always in the news. … A prominent Orthodox rabbi has instructed his followers that women should not engage in politics or run for the Knesset because it transgresses Jewish modesty laws, the Israeli religious news site Kipa reported on Wednesday.
Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, head of the Ateret Cohanim yeshiva in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, told students earlier this week that “women should not hold senior positions in the Knesset, as it is immodest. Public exposure is contrary to the Jewish view of the woman, whereby ‘the king’s daughter is all glorious within.’”
Aviner is regarded as an important spiritual leader of the religious Zionist movement. He also posited that, in principle, women shouldn’t even vote in the general elections but, in the current reality, if a woman wishes to vote he would permit it.
“It’s not merely a matter of going to the polls, casting the ballot and returning home,” the rabbi was quoted saying. “There are also parlor meetings, for women to know whom to vote for, and those are public events that are inherently immodest. They cause men to mingle with women.”—Read More: image:


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